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The Absa Group headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/WALDO SWIEGERS
The Absa Group headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/WALDO SWIEGERS

Absa’s transactional banking division has once again proven itself to be one of the most digitally savvy, agile and innovative financial services businesses by winning two categories at the recent Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Finance Awards. 

The bank won the EMEA Finance Best Cash Management Services in Africa and Best Payment Services in Africa awards for the first time.  

Yasmin Masithela, managing executive for transactional banking at Absa Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), describes this achievement as testament to the organisation’s agility, innovation and excellence in service delivery.

Yasmin Masithela, managing executive for transactional banking at Absa CIB. Picture: SUPPLIED/ABSA
Yasmin Masithela, managing executive for transactional banking at Absa CIB. Picture: SUPPLIED/ABSA

“Over the past five years we have focused our efforts on improving our cash management and payments offering to give our clients an improved experience. Our initiatives included hiring and retaining the best talent, automating processes, shifting customers from manual to digital platforms, and improving our coverage in Europe and America and China,” says Masithela.

The transformative innovations introduced by transactional banking in recent years include:

  • its new host-to-host platform, which allowed the bank to quickly on-board clients, with the fastest integration taking one day to complete;
  • growing its mobile money proposition, which resulted in a 100% growth in its trust account balances as well as innovative solutions around grant disbursements;
  • a launch of its digital bill payment platform, which is integrated with a number revenue authorities in Africa to facilitate tax payments; and
  • the deployment of its new corporate online banking platform, which will offer superior client experience. 

In August Absa won the Euromoney 2020 Excellence in Leadership in Africa Award as a result of its leadership in the response to the Covid-19. 

Thabo Makoko, head of transactional banking in Africa and pan-African trade & working capital at Absa, says the Covid-19 pandemic affected the cross-border activities between many countries resulting in a decrease in trade finance volumes. However, he expects to see increased trade between African countries and other partners, which will be improved by the African continental free trade agreement. He says the increase in the number of fintech businesses emerging in Africa will require banks to adopt digital platforms and to proactively enter into new partnerships. 

“In anticipation of this growing demand for digital solutions, Absa launched its trade management online platform, allowing customers to drive their trade activities online without the need for manual solutions,” says Makoko. “The platform offers an integrated transactional banking solution for its clients, who will be able to seamlessly conclude their trade and cash management transactions.”  

Masithela says: “We have only just begun: our ambition is to become the best transactional banking partner on the continent and we are on the right track. Thank you to our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to land our new channels post-separation and beyond and who continue to work to give our clients a great experience. 

“With focus, determination and delivery of our plan, our digital journey will be a great one. One where we can comfortably have our clients use our platforms to get their business done across the continent.” 

This article was paid for by Absa Corporate and Investment Banking.

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